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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/20/2018 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    This thread is intended to be a Thank You to Michelle C. from MEI for her extraordinary work in making a dream come true for us ! If I haven't made it clear before, let me reassert now, that a good Travel Agent can make things happen that you just never thought you would be able to do ! These 2 cruises on Anthem, Feb 15-23 and Feb 23-3 March 2019 began as lowly inside stateroom casino comped rooms. All we would have had to pay was the taxes and gratuities and we could have been on our way for 16 days for nearly -0- cost. But Michelle immediately upgraded these inside rooms to balcony rooms for us for a very nominal amount (less than $100 each). She was able to find us a nice location on deck 12 where we could have the same room on both cruises, which is a nice touch...no need to change rooms. They remained that way for some weeks...until I asked Michelle to check and find out how much an upgrade to a JS would be for the first half of the B2B. She came back with a very reasonable upgrade charge, so we upgraded the first cruise to a JS on deck 13 and remained in the original balcony room for the second half of the B2B. Then one day I noticed that a Grand Loft Suite (GLS) had popped up on the first half of the cruise (there had been no Star Class suites available on either of these cruises when we first booked). Thinking that there was no WAY we could afford to upgrade AGAIN, AGAIN I asked Michelle to just call and ask. At this time I was on a biz trip (I think I was in Reno at the time !) so even with the time difference, she was so helpful. Sure enough, the price was very attractive, so I pulled the trigger and had her upgrade the first cruise from the JS to the GLS. YIPPEE !!! I was now going to be Star Class for the first half of the B2B. I was in heaven ! ...and wouldn't you know it...shortly after that, another GLS became available on the second half of the B2B and she once again worked her magic and we snagged that one, too !! ...both of these B2B Star Class cruises together were about half the cost of 1 SC cruise by itself ! They are different suites, so we will have to move from deck 8 to deck 10 on the turnaround but I'm hoping that we can keep the same Genie. I have no idea how something like that works. It will be our first B2B and now both of them will be in Star Class. Can it get any better than this ? While Michelle was certainly instrumental in getting all of this accomplished for us, I have to also give credit to the Club Royale people with whom she worked. ...but Michelle was dogged in her pursuit of this dream on our behalf. If she didn't like the price that one agent gave her, she would call back again and again until she got the price she thought we should get...until it was all done. I know I wore her out with all of the calling and rebooking that she was doing. But once again, she has come through for us and I am so very grateful. Great job, Michelle. Thank you !
  2. 14 points
    I came across this cruise by accident and saw a decent fare for 13 nights on a recently refreshed ship so I had a YOLO moment and booked it. This is a repositioning cruise, part of Adventure's migration from Bayonne, NJ (her summer home port) to Ft. Lauderdale (her winter home port). Day 1 - Quebec City Day 2 - Quebec City Day 3 - Sea Day 4 - Charlottetown, PEI Day 5 - Sydney, Nova Scotia Day 6 - Halifax, Nova Scotia Day 7 - Saint John, New Brunswick Day 8 - Bar Harbor, Maine Day 9 - Portland, Maine Day 10 - Boston, MA Day 11 - Sea Day 12 - Sea Day 13 - Canaveral, FL Day 14 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL I had a hard time finding decently price flights with decent times directly into Quebec City so I looked at Montreal and found a much cheaper flight. Adding a car rental and it was still cheaper plus I could fly first class less than coach to Quebec City so I jumped at it. No excursions booked, just going to wing it and work some days. This cruise starts with an overnight in place at Quebec City. That is actually a really great way to start because Quebec City is a wonderful old city with great history. While you could fly in days earlier you would have hotel and meals to cover so this way the ship is my hotel and meals are included. Cruising solo the fact I'll get 26 points in the C&A loyalty program wasn't lost on me. For some folks that takes 3 or 4 cruises to achieve. That also propels me to the point I'll get a glass block on Symphony on my next cruise. YOLO!
  3. 12 points

    Saved on cruise by calling

    I want to thank everyone who talks about calling to get your cruises repriced. I just called and saved $959 on our Alaska cruise next May! We are thrilled. It is like hitting a jackpot on a penny slot machine!
  4. 11 points
    Day 0 - Pre-cruise travel to embarkation port Landing in Montreal (YUL airport) after connecting in New York (JFK airport) and I was on the ground at 4pm. YUL airport is a major international gateway airport for Canada and we arrived on our little regional jet from JFK in the shadow of some much bigger planes from around the world. That meant Canadian customs would be busy, and it was. However they have rows and rows of kiosks where you enter you details, swipe your passport and it went pretty quickly. By 4:30pm I had my luggage and was walking through the parking. I have a confession to make. My decision to fly into Montreal was somewhat influenced by a desire to get my hands on a favorite of mine - Montreal wood fired sesame seed bagels. After getting my rental car I punched the address into the GPS and within 20 minutes I was spilling sesame seeds all over my rental car. Three down and I hadn't even left the bagel store parking yet. Day 0 dinner complete and enough left over for breakfast in the morning, I began the nearly 3 hour drive to Quebec City. Word of warning - in the province of Quebec turning right on a red light was illegal for a long time. They have relaxed that but on the island of Montreal it remains illegal to turn right on a red light.
  5. 11 points

    Live From Lady G

    Day 2 Got up early (for us) and went to the Diamond side of MDR b’fast on deck 4. Normally they have the doors open so that it’s obvious that this side of the dining room is open but today the doors were closed. Being the cruise entitled folks that we are, we just busted through those closed doors and went in. If we had not just been on Lady G 2 months ago and known that the port side of the MDR was the Diamond side, we would never have tried to do that, but combined with our historical knowledge and the fact that we saw plenty of people already seated, we just “went for it”. The host did check our Seapass cards to be sure we were legit but then seated us immediately. We were thrilled to find that our favorite servers, Yogi and his twin brother, BooBoo were still there. They recognized us right away and Yogi even served our table even though it wasn’t supposed to be his table. Delightful b’fast. Dan had a Bloody Mary and I had a mimosa. Getting an early start on the DDP. Today’s special was onion and bacon quiche. Really yummy. Left a nice cash tip as we always do. After b’fast, went up to the Concierge Lounge to grab a cappuccino and say “good morning “ to Francis. As we left we noticed a sign in the Crown Viking Lounge stating that there is going to be a Private Event there later. What ? I can’t find my invite ! Humph ! We are going to have to change our lunch plans as Giovanni’s is not open today for lunch. Only Chops and Izumi, so we will either have to have B2B Izumi or B2B Chops or change our dinner rezzies tonite to Giovanni’s vs Chops. Oh, the unbearable pressure ! The seas were very swellish last night (and remain so today). Our room creaked all night. Luckily Dan and I both love these kinds of seas so we slept like babies being rocked by our mamas ! Some haven’t enjoyed the motion quite so much though. Dan is going for some sun and sauna action, neither of which appeal to me in the slightest, so I will either hang out in the room for a while or just head over to the casino. Can you guess which one is most likely ? 🤨🤨 The suspense ends ! Heading to the casino ! Who didn’t win that bet ?
  6. 11 points

    YOLO Book It and Air2Sea tip

    Well...I am turning into the "Girl who cried wolf"...we just turned our 169 day dry dock into a 98 day dry dock. Just booked Indy for NYE 2018!!!! We've done some pretty "not so wise" things in the past but this booking has got to be "our best" example of "YOLO Book It" to date. Suites and connecting rooms are completely sold out. All 4 of us are cramming into an Ocean View Panoramic cabin (1L). Going to be a very tight squeeze! Not even close to good value as the cost of the 1L can get me a JS on Indy next NYE (but I am not good at waiting). Airfare is double what we normally pay to fly from DTW to FLL. Definitely a YOLO moment! The surprise this booking was that airfare was cheaper to book through Air2Sea rather than direct with Delta. Not a huge savings, but $164 cheaper, same flight times, same airline. I always thought Air2Sea would be more for domestic. Worthwhile to check.
  7. 10 points

    Live From Lady G

    I am not going to promise lengthy entries but I will try and provide some daily observations. 5 night Bermuda cruise. Deluxe drink packages for both of us and also Ultimate Dining Packages. We were able to have lunch at Chops on embark day using our UDP. While there, (BTW we were the only ones in the restaurant until just minutes before we left when 1 other couple came in. It was a wonderful “private” lunch) the maiter’d made all of the specialty dining reservations for us for the rest of the cruise. Very nice. Good news for Sweety - they still have red velvet cake at Chops on Lady G ! Yippee. Dan and I shared a slice. More than that would have been decadence and an obvious exercise of “cruise privilege”. I’ve already reported the delay in leaving port (5 PM vs 4 PM) due to Fleet Week activities. Cruise Director is Bob Leininger. I don’t know yet who the AM is. Will report if/when I find out Capt is Thordur Thorsson. We’ve sailed with him many time. Very good Capt HD is Adriana Tibaudo. Don’t recall her name so no opinion yet Diamond Concierge is Carlington Berry. We’ve had him as our Concierge before. Suites/D+ Concierge is Francis Calimag. While the casino is officially closed tonite (til we get out of Chesapeake Bay) there are “free” slot and BJ tournaments at 8 PM tonite First time I’ve seen this. I guess they will just be for “fun”. The casino hostess (Joyce Ndubane) was the asst casino hostess on our Liberty cruise last month. Near the end of that cruise, she left Liberty and we knew she was coming to Grandeur so it will be nice to see her again so soon. Dan’s suitcase has not yet been delivered. He is already gun shy since Liberty lost our luggage last month (never been recovered, either) so he’s a little “concerned “. Actually , he’s napping at the moment so I guess he’s not THAT worried. The planes have quit zooming overhead so I guess his interest has waned. More later if anything of interest pops up.
  8. 10 points
    The main snorkel area for Cococay is closer to the end of the island where the ship is closest. I had never snorkeled here and since I had brought my mask and snorkel fins (travel fins) I decided I need to learn more about this area. You enter from the beach where people are swilling. Buoys mark underwater features they have aded to attract marine life. Swimming platforms are available to rest on. Two life guard towers mark the extent of the snorkel and swim area. At first the water is cloudy from the swimmers and folks wading in shallow water, Further out it clears up quite a bit. I spotted more rays. With this complete I headed back to the ship. Cococay remains a favorite stop of mine. The construction from the pier and/or Perfect Day had no impact on my day here either from Mariner on Thursday or Enchantment on Sunday.
  9. 9 points
    Out into the city I walked along the waterfront in the direction of the Chateaux Frontenac. There I came across some inviting shops and restaurants set into old stone buildings. Fall decorations in place. Note you can see the bow of the ship between the buildings for reference to location. The crowds began to thicken. I must be on the right path. I was trying to find the Funicular and it looks like I succeeded. The funicular is $3.50 CAD. They don't accept credit cards and U.S. cash is taken at par without any exchange rate provided. The Funicular station at the top. With that I was at the base of Chateaux Frontenac, a luxury hotel. Samuel De Champlain who discovered the area for France in the late 1500s. Wonderful views of the St. Lawrence River. The Consulate General of the United States: There is a paved path up the hill or these stairs The Plains of Abraham where the British defeated the French in 1759 that led to this becoming a British territory. The paved path up to this area. The imposing cannon of the Citadell de Quebec. More on this in the next post.
  10. 9 points
    IT'S CRUISE DAY!!! I awoke... because I left the drapes open and it was beginning to become daylight. In the daylight I could really see the old city walls that were hidden last night. I immediately spotted a familiar shape in the distance. It's Adventure of the Seas!!! Soon after I spotted a small ship coming up the river. It came closer, then a tug provided a water cannon salute to the pier. That's the Silversea Silver Wind. I wonder if this is her inaugural call at this port? Silversea is now part of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line family. Today she would berth behind Adventure while she stopped here in Quebec City on her way to Montreal tomorrow. I consumed more Montreal bagels for breakfast and gathered my things to pack and get ready. Tick tock, tick tock. Did the clock just slow down? I had a rental car in valet so I figured that would take some time to deal with so I headed down early. I needed to fill up my rental car with gas so shortly after 9am I headed down. In the hotel elevator on the way down I met folks who saw my RC tags and commented that they had just got off the ship, nothing but good things to say. The hotel lobby was packed with guests just arriving from ships. My GPS took me to a gas station on the way to the terminal so away I went. That complete, my plan was to drop off my checked bag and head to Hertz to drop off the car and walk to the ship. Typical cruise ship drop off experience although the local taxi drivers didn't seem to understand the concept. Since I was just dropping bags and not parking I was directed to follow the taxis. I guess with fewer ships compared to Florida these were rookie cab drivers and they had no idea what to do. I dropped off my luggage and started towards Hertz just 1/2 mile away. How did we do these things before GPS? The rental car agency represents three companies and they were packed. That complete I followed my GPS back to the cruise terminal but this time on foot.
  11. 9 points
    From my commanding hotel view of the area (which the picture don't do justice) I had observed a fountain lit up at night and several gates to the old city. I din't have a specific route in mind, I just headed in the direction of the fountain. They are placed directly in front of the Parliament buildings. One of many gates to the fort and old Quebec City. That street I saw looked really inviting so I headed that way. They have heaters setup along the sidewalk to warm folks as they walk along. Time to contribute to the local economy. I always like to try to a local beer. St Ambroise IPA. Perfect. It was getting late to time to find my way back to my hotel.
  12. 9 points
    Day turned to dark but I did enjoy much of the drive in daylight, enough to see the trees beginning to turn into their fall colors. Not nearly at peak, but it must be getting close. My GPS safely guided me to the Hilton in downtown Quebec City. Like many hotels in major cities you have to pay for parking and valet tends to be the way to go. I was ready to get out of the car after a day of flying and a 3 hour drive. I had used a corporate rate to get a pretty good deal because like many downtown hotels rates can get up there. Not only that it was the Thanksgiving weekend for Canada so rates were already up. I had thought about staying in a hotel out of the city and driving in the next day but I'm glad I stayed downtown. I was upgraded to a corner room with 270° views. My room on the 16th floor: The Brice building on the left has an apartment for the Premier of Quebec on the highest floor. The Chateaux Frontenac is also a dominant structure on the right. They both tower over the rest of the old city below them. Quebec City is the seat of the Provincial Capitol and I had a great view of Parliament buildings. Great history in Quebec City which was established in 1608 by the French. Britain would later win the area in a famous battle in the 1700s. In 1867 the Country of Canada was born and Quebec City has remained Canadian since. Time to hit the streets and walk around a bit.
  13. 9 points

    Live From Lady G

    Day 3 Pulling into Kings Wharf right now. Finally no rocking and rolling ! Much appreciated relief. Momentary flashback to yesterday and last night. Lunch at Izumi. Delightful. Much busier than I expected but service and food were still great. Dinner at Chops was ok. Our steak on embark day was much better. Service was S.L.O.W. We actually got up and left before they even offered dessert which means we missed our red velvet cake (sorry, Sweety) dessert. We never got a receipt to sign or anything. I guess they know where we “live” if they need to talk to us ! Tonite is Giovanni’s. Back to the present. Coolish in Bermuda. We have no plans to get off the ship so likely we will just saunter down this evening and ride the shuttle train around the circuit. It’s one of my fave things to do here. One of the items that was lost in my recent luggage debacle on Liberty was a beautiful hand woven wrap that I bought in one of the craft shops here at Kings Wharf a number of years ago (it was my favorite wrap to wear at nights in the casino where it’s always arctic temps) so maybe I will see about replacing it. <Still pissed off that somebody took our bag in Galveston> To my great surprise Izumi is open today for lunch and is eligible for the dining package. I never even looked in the Compass b/c I figured today would not count as a sea day (arriving in port around lunchtime) but the lovely lady who has been at Izumi on Grandeur for as long as I can remember was walking through the WJ this morning hocking the sushi-making class and asked if we were coming to Izumi for lunch today. Dan’s sleepy eyes came to full attention immediately and a recognizable look of pure joy spread across his face instantly. Guess we’re Going to Izumi for lunch AGAIN today ! As a matter of fact, he has asked me twice, while I was doing this post, when we were likely to be ready to go. He’s so easy to please ! Just shove some eel, salmon or tuna nigiri in his face and he will agree to anything. 😛😛 So why were we in the WJ for b’fast this morning instead of the D area of the MDR, you may ask ? B/c of the stealthy time change last night, I would answer. We got up at what we thought was 8:30 AM just to realize later that it was actually 9:30 AM and the MDR was already closed. PLUS, this morning at 10:15 AM was the Diamond event (referred to by us as the “cattle call”) and for reason not fully understood, Dan loves going to those things. I hate them but I went. At any rate, there was not enough time to eat a sit-down b’fast AND get to the D event by 10:15 thus, the WJ it was. Lovely b’fast, BTW. We missed Yogi and BooBoo and I’m sure we’ll hear about it from them tomorrow morning. They so absolutely adorable. You canNOT tell them apart. Dan has started making impatient movements towards the door so I think I’d better cut this off. Another best day on Lady G. Happy Columbus Day, everyone.
  14. 9 points

    left phone on the ship

    well, i was pleasantly surprised to find that royal caribbean has a partnership with a company called "chargerback.com". i did self-assisted departure, but left my phone in the room (d'oh!). i called my phone when i got home, and they told me to go to this website for lost and found. all said and done, it will only cost me $9.36 to get my phone sent back to me. awesome!
  15. 9 points
    I chose to write this blog after the cruise is over. This allows me to focus on the cruise during the cruise, live in the moment and go through a thousand photos looking for the best ones after the cruise is over in the comfort of my favorite chair and large computer monitors. Itinerary is Miami - Nassau - Cococay - Sea Day - Miami Here are some other live blogs worthy of a read from other blog users who have recently sailed the newly AMPED Mariner of the Seas. @Lovetocruise2002 - https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/8955-“moments-on-mariner”-–-mariner-of-the-seas–-august-13-17-2018/ @CruiseHabit Ric - https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9322-mariner-of-the-seas-liveishblog-917-922/ Given their excellent work I won't repeat everything they have blogged about so if you haven't already, give their blogs a quick read. For this Miami based cruise I flew into Miami the day before and stayed at the Hilton Blue Lagoon near Miami airport. Post cruise my plan will be a rental car to drive up to Port Canaveral where I'll jump on Enchantment of the Seas. Since I have to fly to Florida, a 4 night cruise typically isn't worth it given the cost of airfare so adding a back-to-back or in this case a side-to-side extends the cruise length making the additional cost of airfare worth it. Both cruises have the same ports so I'll be doing a double dip to both Nassau and Cococay. For this cruise my only excursion booked through Royal is a certified scuba dive in Cococay. On sale from a normal price of $68 I paid just $57. It's a one tank shore dive to a maximum depth of 37 feet so it's also a great way to keep my scuba certification and my diving brain current without committing a huge block of time to the excursion. While I have visited Cococay before, I've never dove here before. I'm looking forward to exploring the portion of Cococay below the waves. For Nassau, I booked a 737 airline simulator experience in Nassau as a private excursion not offered through the cruise line.
  16. 9 points
    Far too early in the morning on July 4th of this year, I was checking prices on cruises. Prices tend to drop when kids go back to school, so I searched for cruises out of Florida between the Friday after Labor Day and the end of September. One of the best rates that came up was a 4-night cruise on Mariner of the Seas out of Port Miami. I’ve followed the news on Mariner’s renovation and the other ships receiving upgrades as part of the Royal Amplified initiative. Seeing what Royal Caribbean had planned, I thought this could be a ship for me. My other requirement was getting a real bargain on the fare. It looked like I would be sailing solo, and I resigned myself to paying a 200% single supplement — that is, covering the price of double occupancy even if only one person sailed. In the case only one person sails, Royal Caribbean collects taxes and fees for only one person. To make sure I was seeing this rate, I would select 1 passenger when pricing out a sailing. Usually, I’d see the base fare for one person at the same as when priced for two people, but one time… I didn’t. The price was much lower. I found a rare solo cruiser cabin and there was no single supplement at all. I’m a big proponent of travel agents, but 4am on July 4th is not quite the time to get someone on the phone. I decided I needed to book this cruise directly through the Royal Caribbean site or else someone else would. My Crown & Anchor account already had my contact information, so all I had to enter was my credit card. Well, that didn’t work for some reason. After a couple of other hiccups, I decided to call a Royal Caribbean agent. This turned out to be the right move. A really friendly guy saw that the cabin I wanted had a reservation lock from a purchase in progress. I chuckled and told him that was probably me. I gave him the email address on my Crown & Anchor membership and he was able to confirm my contact information. He put me on hold for a little under a minute to talk to someone who could release the reservation lock and allow him to complete the booking over the phone. Before this time when I needed to book at 4am on July 4th, I had worked with the same travel agent on all but my first cruise. When you find a travel agent who is a good match for you, there are benefits. Over time, your agent will get to know your cruising preferences. At the same time, I’m glad to know that when I needed them at an odd hour, there was a Royal Caribbean agent there to help me make the booking I wanted. In my case, I was after final payment date, but if I hadn’t been, and I had not yet paid for the cruise in full, I would have been able to transfer the booking to my usual travel agent. I’ve noticed my Crown & Anchor membership already saved me time twice making this reservation. It occurs to me that even though we affectionately tease the Pre-Gold membership, in my case, even being Pre-Gold would have saved me time when I was on the phone with the Royal Caribbean agent. If you’ve taken a Royal Caribbean cruise and you haven’t signed up for a Crown & Anchor membership, it’s an easy recommendation. I can’t think of any downside. You might get a gift in the room. You’ll get some onboard offers loaded onto your Sea Pass card the next time you sail. I guess I’m also saying if you’re reading this blog because you think you might take a Royal Caribbean cruise, but you haven’t booked yet, go ahead and sign up for a Pre-Gold membership. (All of this is free.) You might find the emails to be another source of Royal Caribbean news. Celebrity Constellation and Disney Magic, both medium-size ships, have been my favorite experiences so far. When I cruised solo this past December, I was on the mega-ship Norwegian Epic. I’m curious to see how those two experiences come together cruising solo on the medium-size Mariner of the Seas. If you’d like, you can read my liveblog from the Norwegian Epic sailing. Follow along as I liveblog here this week. That drink package was paired with streaming internet access, so I’ll also be on Periscope. If staying connected is important t you I recommend checking out the below posts: Keeping in Touch on Ship and Shore & How to Stay in Touch with Someone on Your Royal Caribbean Cruise You can follow me @cruisehabitric and while you’re at it, follow the main account @cruisehabit where Billy covers sail-aways from Port Everglades and Port Miami. Leave your questions in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to track down some answers. I’ll be on Mariner of the Seas to Nassau and Coco Cay with one sea day starting Monday, September 17th.
  17. 9 points
    I took a number of night shots from different angles. Some are long exposure to blur the reflections in the water. The first one is a normal exposure. I tried experimenting with zooming during the long exposure on some. I can't decide which I like the most so here are some of the best ones.
  18. 9 points
    One benefit of visiting Cococay from a small ship is the easy tendering process. I had just been to Cococay on Mariner on Thursday and on that occasion I did the certified scuba dive. After the dive on Thursday I was in the area near the floating bar wandering around in knee deep water with my camera. A beach assistant called me over and told to watch for various marine life including lemon sharks. They aren't a threat and will swim around you as you walk the sandbars. With tide just switching and starting to come in that was apparently good time to see them. With that fresh in memory from my Mariner visit I decided to make this a snorkel day at Coccocay. I had my own gear from diving so it made for a cheap day. I found a lounger in the second row in the shade of a palm tree and claimed it as mine. With a small ship like Enchantment there were a ton of loungers available so that wasn't an issue. Tide was still going out which isn't typically great shark timing according to a lifeguard I asked but you never know. So off I went. It didn't take long to find one. At first I though I was walking towards a submerged rock in two feet of water. The rock kept moving away. Hmmm. I donned my mask and laid down in just enough water depth to snorkel and saw my quest. There were also the occasional jelly. I wasn't the only one. Several other people were walking around in the knee water and seeing them. There were at least three or four swimming and occasionally resting in place until a human scared them them into motion. The closest I got was maybe four or five feet. The super wide-angle GoPro lens makes it look so far away. It was pretty cool. I also spotted a stingray. Like the sharks they were quick to move on when approached. Since I was in the neighborhood it was only appropriate to stop at the watering hole. From the floating bar this is the general area where I was 'sharking'. While at Cococay bar service is done by ship bartenders. Supplies come from the ship. While visiting on Empress a few weeks ago, the floating bar had a very limited menu and only one bartender. No frozen drinks, no CocoLoco, basic mixers and cranberry juice. Everything was paper tickets. On Enchantment they had a much a much better bar menu and they had brought a point of sale terminal operating in offline mode that could swipe cards and provide a standard printed receipt. A laminated bar menu was available. Cocoloco was available from a cooler (no blender on the floating bar to make other frozen drinks). In a different cooler they had pre-made jugs of Bahama Mama, Margarita mix, etc. Liquor was added at they poured the drink it so virgin versions are available for those who don't want alcohol. Since I had the drink package... I let this wear off a bit before heading to the 'official' snorkeling area closer to the action of Cococay.
  19. 9 points
    My excursion today would be with Jetline Simulation of Nassau. They have a 737NG simulator that professional pilots or pilots in training can book to practice, or the average guy on the street like myself can book it. I learned of this excursion from @CruisingKat(Kathy) a few weeks prior when her and her husband went there. Since I have long been an aviation enthusiast I knew I had to try this. I was actually supposed to do this on Tuesday when I stopped in Nassau on Mariner. They called on Sunday afternoon to let me know a bulb in a projector blew and the three replacements they had on hand all didn't work. I have a projector at home and had the same issue happen to me. They too had bought the spare bulbs on Amazon. Bad idea. We chatted for a bit about the issue. Being in Nassau it wasn't like they go down the street and find this unique bulb so they had to cancel my Tuesday session but they were certain it would be operational for Saturday and my visit on Enchantment. They were very apologetic but since it has happened to me and since I was coming back a few days later, I told them 'no problem mon'. They are located in "The Pointe" right beside the British Colonial Hilton. That's about a 10 minute walk from the ship. They have a database of something like 25,000 airports they can load up. We talked through several options and I decided on a Denver departure and landing, followed by Toronto with a sightseeing 'flight' around the CN Tower, He recommended Kai Tak in Hong Kong - a legendary airport since closed when a new airport was built but it's well known for it's wild approach and landing through high rise buildings. My last flight would be a take of from St. Thomas with a landing in St. Maarten. The first flight was from the gate in Denver where we were pushed back from the gate with a tug, went through engine start and taxiing followed by the take off, circling around in a somewhat standard pattern and landing back at Denver. With each flight I became more comfortable with handling the plane and landing it. Take off was easy, landing is tricky. On subsequent flights he programmed us to start on the runway ready to power up to full thrust and take off to save time. It takes a minute or so to load and then like magic you are sitting on a runway ready to apply throttles and get going. By the time we took off in St. Thomas, climbed to 9,000 feet and flew over to St. Maarten I greased the landing and nailed it near perfectly, with a lot of help from Ryan my instructor who took control of the throttles so I could focus on flying the plane. In a flash my 90 minute session was over. The 737NG or 737-800 is used by many airlines including Southwest, United and Delta. Tonight I flew home to Denver on a 737-800 and a quick peek inside the cockpit as I was deplaning was all it took to find the fuel pump switches I used during engine start in the simulator among other similarities. They offer a discount to cruise ship passengers so make sure you ask about that. i scoped briefly after my session while some other people vacationing in Nassau had their turn. https://www.periscope.tv/thetwangster/1mrGmnEZXeVJy
  20. 9 points
  21. 9 points
    Day 6 continued... The weather was fantastic with following winds keeping the wind well in check on deck. With us doing 20 knots, I would say the apparent wind was about 10 mph. Super comfortable as we made home base on the sundeck right before the solarium starts. It's a great place to have the best of both the solarium and pool deck fun. Finished the daytime off with a five mile run on the track. Hope to do another five tomorrow as it's my incentive to eat just a bit more 😁 Talking about eating, the food on the 2nd formal was delicious as the lobster tails came out. What was lacking was the organization. This particular service was slow while the wait staff seemed to be running around. Please share, if anyone knows, what is so different about the 2nd formal night that makes it so hard? The main stage computer was still down so no show tonight besides a comedic magician who did a fun yet corny 25 minute set. He is a current entertainer on the ship who offered to do magic. The effort was appreciated. Although disappointed with not seeing Come Fly With Me we stumbled into Dazzles and stayed 90 minutes listening to an talented and energetic band called the Temperature. We missed their Motown show a day ago but caught this country and rock themed show that had us dancing the night away. Just wish Dazzles was a but bigger as the audience was full and chairs hard to come by. A stroll around the ship took us to midnight so we turned in. One more day and we hope go out with a bang!!
  22. 8 points
    Well , it was long time ago since the last cruise . I guess its another Med cruise before Symphony is going to Miami. Actually this cruise was the original cruise we planned for this ship but then we added one in April. This time we are going to focus mainly on exploring the ship , we scheduled only 2 tours so I am not even sure we will go out of the ship in every port, but things can change. The main different for this cruise is the fact it will be our first time on a JS , The price was right and hey YOLO , I booked it. As always we arrived 1.5 days before the cruise , after all there are allot of things to do in Barcelona , this time I found a flight with a connection in Istanbul with Turkish Air as they are part of star alliance and we get points and access to the lounges (due to the status in United). It prove itself as we enjoyed the very impressive lounge while waiting between the flights and they also upgraded us. Tomorrow we will tour Barcelona , not decided yet where to go so it will be a free style and mainly for the day to pass so we can board the ship 🙂 Not everyone were happy we are cruising again : The lounge : They have food stations were they prepare some fresh dishes : And how I can Ignore the Baklava cakes, mental note to myself - avoid checking you sugar level at least few weeks after the cruise
  23. 8 points
    A first look across the river from the ship. Hard to do it justice in a photograph, the fall color coming into the trees was very pleasant and obvious even from a distance. The waterfront near the pier is fresh and modern with fountains bubbling up and mist occasionally popping out in other places. Adventure berthed at the best possible location. I settled into the Viking Crown Lounge where I wrote some of this blog that I posted yesterday. Looking down I saw what appeared to be a tour. Local travel agents I suspect. Adventure now follows the practice of using your SetSail pass to board the ship. I had my printed SetSail pass in my bag but wanted to see how the app based SetSail pass worked so I used it exclusively. Terminal employees just did a brief "Ok, okay" and no problems. At check in she scanned the barcode on my phone and no issues, I popped right up in the system. When I boarded the ship, the ship security crew manning the scanning station asked "Where is your boarding pass?" to which I said this is my boarding pass again holding the phone out. "Don't you have it printed?" she asked quizzically. She looked at my phone skeptically and with great hesitation she scanned it and the familiar tone beeped and my picture popped up. I think she was quite surprised. "Welcome aboard". I only mention that now because the whole 'seapass pass card outside your stateroom' was really freaking out a lot of people. I heard the crew say over and over "it will be outside you cabin" and "you can use your setsail pass to order drinks". Over and over. They begin to announce it ship wide over the PA system. In the Viking Crown Lounge there were a lot of upset people over this. They couldn't get into the Diamond Lounge without their card to swipe at the door. Apparently this was ruining the entire cruise and we all had been on board for just an hour. Finally someone opened the door and the entire Viking Crown Lounge made a dash for the Diamond Lounge, except for me and one other couple. For those that don't know, the Diamond Lounge isn't that big and nothing is offered during the day. Happy hour drinks don't kick in until 4:30pm. I found it odd that there were so many people clamoring for lounge access, at noon, on boarding day. More on that later. Cabins available at 1pm. Making the walk from the aft forward along deck 6 I spotted my bag well down the hall from my cabin. At this point they were just getting the bags to the right floor for delivery by cabin attendants later so I grabbed my bag and rolled it to my cabin. Interior deck 6 forward, cabin 6535. This is how SeaPass cards are distributed now. One at the door outside you cabin in an envelope, the rest inside the cabin.
  24. 8 points
    Reminds of arriving to check in for our Thanksgiving cruise on Independence a few years ago and being handed the "welcome aboard program" for the day, handed it to my wife while I finished checking us in with the agent. Wife taps me on the shoulder part way through and is pointing at one of the paragraphs on the page while saying the full version of WTF .... The paragraph read something like "As a reminder to our guests full nudity is only allowed on open decks and in the designated lounge areas, undergarments are required in all food service areas" .... turns out the week before was a chartered cruise for a clothing optional group and they were handing out the flyers from that cruise in error.
  25. 8 points
    Day 5! Our last port day was a full beach day at Great Bay Beach. It started relaxed with room service and breakfast in bed. Just fun to do it once during the week. 😀 After that it was a leisurely get ready to meet the group at 9:45. We did the typical herding in line to and from the water taxi and were sheparded to a fairly packed area with chairs, umbrellas with drink and food service. It was definitely a party feeland fun to meet others. Also we were informed that since there was not a second group our 3 hour beach adventure was actually all day with the return taxis running every ten minutes or so. It was enjoyable but completely opposite of the relaxed, room to spread out beach time of Mehgan's beach yesterday. Vote goes to yesterday! Back on board with a fantastic dining room dinner. Service has been top notch with offers of seconds every time we finish our plates or for something different if we leave a bit left over. We tend to search out quiet places on the ship so we strolled around the track after dinner taking in the moonlight and the appearance of the planets as it got darker as more stars could be seen. The ice show on the Oasis was more high energy than the others I have seen and was appreciated. Studio B on the Oasis seems to be the same size than other classes but better designed to move crowds in and out. The Freedom and Voyager versions all had a single choking point. Talking about quiet spaces, we finished the evening with the Central Park violen concert. 6000 people on the ship and you can find entertainment with a few dozen people spread out under the stars and among the plants listening to a pair of talented artists. Next up is a first of two sea days! Who knows what Oasis adventures awaits!!